Physicians Combating The Dermatologist Shortage
With a mere 623 dermatologists designated to treat a population of over 36.9 million in Canada, dermatologists are severely limited in the number of patients they can see in a day, resulting in an average wait time of at least six months.1 As a temporary solution, many physicians are receiving additional training in dermoscopy to become better equipped in providing care to their patients.
However, as an unfortunate result, doctors now often share the weight of managing the dermatology shortage, while providing expert care for cases outside of their standard profession. Seeing as dermatology- related cases typically comprise nearly 25% of all doctor-related visits, it is easy to understand why physicians and doctors alike are being quickly overwhelmed.2
DermEngine: Connecting Medical Professionals
As only one part of the solution, physicians and dermatologists alike are taking advantage of the connective capabilities of cloud-based dermatology software such as DermEngine. By joining their network, healthcare experts are able to stay connected with their colleagues, discuss important patient cases, and (perhaps most importantly) send and receive patient case referrals.
As a direct result, physicians are able to send challenging cases to a dermatologist instantly for valuable feedback. This allows doctors to remain a general first point of contact for providing care while ensuring that dermatologists are able to focus on important cases requiring their honed expertise.
Intelligent Dermatology Software To Support Clinical Decisions
Unfortunately, the majority of dermatology-related cases likely fall somewhere in the middle of the two extremes (referring to a dermatologist or providing a confident standalone diagnosis), where a doctor would prefer a slightly higher level of confidence before making a diagnosis. Without directly referring the case to a dermatologist (or other specialty medical expert), how can a physician boost the confidence of their clinical decisions while ensuring a streamlined workflow within their practice?
In some cases, doctors are turning to content-based image retrieval. Powered by artificial intelligence, this specially trained algorithm allows medical experts to submit a dermoscopic image and receive 20 of the most visually similar images. By gaining access to valuable data and statistics such as risk of malignancy, and previous diagnosis of those cases, physicians are able to make better informed clinical decisions with enhanced levels of confidence.*
As medical professionals continue to be shouldered with the burden of the dermatologist shortage, users are turning to a variety of solutions offered by intelligent dermatology software such as DermEngine. By remaining instantly connected with their dermatologist colleagues along with access to the latest tools for artificial intelligence in dermatology, physicians are able to better manage patient cases with a greater level of confidence and care.
-The MetaOptima Team
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*DermEngine’s Visual Search is designed to support clinical decisions for educational purposes only, and is not for the direct diagnosis of patient cases.